Continuing on with my focus on adding more dinner recipes to our recipe index this month, I wanted to share this traditional American dish (think 1980s!) While moderns food trends seem to grow more exotic every year, it’s always nice to go back to a comfortable, simple meal. I’ve already made this American Chop Suey recipe several times this winter and I’m sure I will make it at least once more before spring arrives.
Another thing I like about this recipe for American Chop Suey is that it’s just very uncomplicated to make. Chop your onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Get the rest of your ingredients ready to add. Cook everything and you are done —and with only two pots to wash!
Since this recipe makes about 8 servings, freezing half of it is definitely an option (although it also makes great leftovers for lunch.) After combining the meat mixture and elbow pasta, place half of it in an 8×8 foil pan and sprinkle on some shredded parmesan. Allow to cool, cover with foil, label, and freeze. Then, defrost the chop suey the night before or morning of the day you are planning to serve it again. Bake at 350 degrees or until heated thoroughly.
If you are looking for a slightly different variation of this recipe, I recommend taking a look at K’s recipe for Chili Mac and Cheese.
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- kosher salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14.5 can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup tomato paste (look for tubes of double-concentrated tomato paste so you don't have to throw away half a can of paste...use 2 tablespoons if you can find this variety)
- ⅔ cup tomato juice (this is equivalent to one small can often sold in a 6-pack of juice)
- Parmesan Cheese, grated (for serving)
- Heat a large pot of water over high heat to prepare the pasta. Once boiling, add a generous amount of salt and the elbow macaroni. Cook pasta until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta once done.
- Meanwhile, place a large pot over medium heat and add butter or olive oil. Once heated, add onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in ground beef and break up meat with the back of the spoon. Cook meat until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. If you are looking to lighten up this dish, place all meat and vegetables on one side of the pan, tilt the pan, and spoon out excess oil/butter/fat.
- Next, add the herbs, pepper, salt, and sugar. Stir until combined. Add diced tomatoes (with juice), tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato juice. Allow to simmer gently while pasta cooks.
- Once the pasta has been drained, combine the meat/tomato mixture and stir until combined. Spoon into bowls and serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Source: Slightly adapted from Food.com